High-Speed Resistance Training


Sara Thompson – M.Sc. in Exercise Science

High-speed resistance training (HSRT) is a relatively new approach to combat ailments associated with aging such as decreased muscle strength, decreased functional performance, and decreased quality of life. HSRT, which consists of fast, explosive movements, might be more effective than the more conventional low-speed resistance training in improving muscle strength and functional performance. Indeed, Ramirez-Campillo and colleagues have previously measured greater improvement in strength and functional performance in aging women following 12 weeks of HSRT compared to low-speed resistance training (Ramirez-Campillo et al., 2014). However, it remains unclear how often individuals need to perform HSRT to obtain optimal benefits from this type of exercise. Therefore, this research group aimed to measure muscle strength, power and functional performance following 12 weeks of HSRT, performed either two or three times per week (Ramirez-Campillo et al., 2016).

Resistance Training

Resistance Training

Twenty-four healthy older women (between the ages of 60 and 83) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a control group who did not change their current exercise regime (CG), a group who performed high-speed resistance training twice per week (RT2), and a group who performed high-speed resistance training three times per week (RT3). Before and after the 12-week intervention, participants were assessed for muscle strength, muscle power, functional performance, and quality of life. The researchers aimed to determine if there is enhanced performance due to increased frequency of training performed each week. Whilst keeping the load of training equal for both training groups. Therefore, in order to match the training load, participants in the RT2 group performed three sets of each exercise, while participants in the RT3 group performed two sets of each exercise.

The high-speed resistance training consisted of fast, explosive exercises that worked the major muscle groups. Including medicine ball throws, bench press, upright row, biceps curl, leg extension, and core exercises. The exercise program was identical to the researchers’ previous study that showed improved performance following 12 weeks of HSRT performed twice per week (Ramirez-Campillo et al. 2014).

Following 12 weeks, both HSRT groups improved muscle strength (handgrip strength), muscle power (medicine ball throw), functional performance (10-metre walking sprint, 8-foot up-and-go, and sit-to-stand tests), and balance. Improvements were similar in RT2 and RT3 groups, with no improvements in the control group following the 12 weeks.  Additionally, the RT2 and RT3 groups showed similar improvements in psychosocial, physical, and overall quality of life following the 12-week intervention. With no improvements in the control group.


The main finding of this study is that older women who completed two high-speed resistance training sessions per week obtained equal improvements in muscle strength, muscle power, functional performance, and quality of life to those women who completed the training three times per week. In a world in which older individuals have family obligations and time commitments, which can prevent them from engaging in regular physical activity, these results are promising as they suggest that these individuals can obtain significant benefits from exercise that is performed as infrequently as twice per week!  If older individuals only need to complete two exercise sessions per week, they might be more inclined to continue training. A follow-up study is warranted to study the long-term effects and adherence to the program.    


Ramirez-Campillo, R., Castillo, A., de la Fuente, C.I., Campos-Jara, C., Andrade, D. C., et al. (2014). High-speed resistance training is more effective than low-speed resistance training to increase functional capacity and muscle performance in older women. Experimental Gerontology, 58, 51-57.

Ramirez-Campillo, R., Diaz, D., Martinez-Salazar, C., Valdés-Badilla, P., Delgado-Floody, P., et al. (2016). Effects of different doses of high-speed resistance training on physical performance and quality of life in older women: a randomized controlled trial. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 11, 1797-1804.

You Might Like:

Woman performing HIIT outside

Can HIIT Improve Mental Health?

High intensity interval training (or HIIT for short) has fast become one of the most common forms of exercise on the planet. Used by athletes and regular gym goers alike, it has been applauded for...
Someone jump roping

How to Incorporate HIIT in Every Workout

Over the last few years, high-intensity exercise modalities have become super popular. Think about the rise of CrossFit or even the creation of Orange Theory. Both of these workouts are incredibly popular, and both incredibly...
woman walking

The Effects of Sleep Quality and HIIT

Moji Kaviani Quality of sleep appears to be positively associated with both physical and psychological health (Halson, 2016; Lastella et al., 2012). Therefore, numerous studies examined the relationship between physical activity and sleep suggesting that...
woman running stairs

5 Ways HIIT Improves Fitness in Women

Alyssa Bialowas Research poll after research poll, male and female adults express that one of the biggest barriers they face to frequent exercise is lack of time. One common assumption is that exercise and physical...
The Predictors of Longevity You Need to Care About

The Predictors of Longevity You Need to Care About

Women training together

How Overtraining and Undertraining Impacts Hormonal Health

Yoga warrior pose

12 days of Fitness: 12 Holiday workouts to crush this Christmas

Upper body strength

Upper Body Strength in Post-Menopausal Women

Exercise partners congratulating each other during workout

Exercise After Menopause: What You Need To Know

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Has It Backwards: You Should Train Harder After Menopause

Family outdoors

Stop Taking Loans on Your Health


New Research on How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Now

Box squats

What Is the Most Effective Squat Position?


Habit Stacking: How to Build Exercise Habits

Leave a Reply